UFO sightings in New Zealand

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The most widely reported UFO incident in New Zealand, and the only one investigated, involved the Kaikoura lights reported by a pilot in 1978. The New Zealand Defence Force does not take an official interest in UFO reports,[1] but in December 2010 it released files on hundreds of purported UFO reports.[2] New Zealand's Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp said people could "make what they will" of the reports, and said "a quick scan of the files indicates that virtually everything has a natural explanation".


  • In 1955 the captain of a National Airways Corporation aircraft reported seeing a light that showed apparent movement and changes in colour and intensity. The Director of Intelligence at the Carter Observatory concluded that it was Venus as it rose in the night sky.[3]
  • A Blenheim farmer claimed to have seen lights and a UFO containing two men in silvery suits in the early morning of 13 July 1959.[3]


The 21 December 1978 incident in the Kaikoura area attracted media attention throughout New Zealand and Australia. The crew of a cargo plane reported strange lights over the Kaikoura Ranges and a Wellington radar team reported inexplicable readings. these were filmed by a news crew over several nights.

See also[edit]

  • Bruce Cathie, a New Zealand author who has written about flying saucers


  1. ^ Wood, Stacey; Duff, Michelle; Johnston, Kirsty (23 December 2010). "Our X-files are out". Dominion Post. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. ^ Wood, Stacey; Duff, Michelle; Johnston, Kirsty (23 December 2010). "Secret UFO files revealed". The Press. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Only one NZ UFO sighting investigated". The Press. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.

Further reading[edit]

  • Daniken, Erich von; Earth Colonisation Research Association (1978). Erich Von Daniken and UFO's in New Zealand: We Are Not Alone. Paraparaumu: ECRA promotions.
  • Startup, Bill (1980). The Kaikoura UFOs. Auckland: Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-25689-3.
  • Dykes, Mervyn (1981). Strangers in Our Skies: UFOs Over New Zealand. Lower Hutt, N.Z: INL Print. ISBN 0-86464-004-8.
  • Hassall, Peter (1998). The NZ Files: UFOs in New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z: David Bateman. ISBN 1-86953-370-4.
  • Hyde, Vicki (2006). Oddzone: Paranormal Phenomena, Alien Abductions, Animal Mysteries, Psychics and Mediums and Other Weird Kiwi Stuff. Auckland, N.Z: New Holland. ISBN 978-1-86966-143-4.

External links[edit]